LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Australian Open Champion Luke Saville (AUS) will be looking to claim his second grand slam of 2012 when the Wimbledon Junior Championships get underway on Saturday. Saville heads an impressive field in the boy’s singles with all of the top 20 ranked boys in the world competing, and will be looking to successfully defend his title.
He will face a strong British challenge for the title with world number 2 and last year’s finalist Liam Broady looking to gain revenge for defeat in last year’s final. Another contender for the title is French Open junior champion Kimmer Coppejans. The Belgian enters the championships in fine form after following his win in Paris with victory in the Grade 1 AEGON Junior International at Roehampton last week. Filip Peliwo (CAN) has shown consistent form in recent grand slams reaching the finals at Roland Garros and the Australian Open this year.
Another player in excellent form is Nikola Milojevic from Serbia. Milojevic showed impressive grass court form by winning last week’s Gerry Weber Junior Open in Halle, Germany and will be looking to post a strong showing in SW19.
Also included in the main draw will be Hassan Ndayishimiye from Burundi who won through qualifying last week. Ndayishimiye has won through qualifying for the second succesive year and has benefited from ITF assistance as a member of the ITF International 18&U ITF/GSDF Team to Europe in 2012.
The girl’s field is also of the highest quality with 15 of the world’s top 20 competing. Australian Open champion and world number 1 Taylor Townsend heads the draw. It is Townsend’s first appearance at Wimbledon and she will face a number of other strong contenders for the title. Among the favourites will be the Russian pair of Daria Gavrilova and Elisaveta Kulichkova. Gavrilova gets into the draw on the strength of her WTA ranking of 199 and will be looking to improve on her shock first round defeat last year. World number 3 Kulichkova reached the semi-finals of the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio and also won a women’s $10,000 Futures event in Turkey in April.
Donna Vekic, another who made the main draw in Paris due to her WTA ranking, will be another strong contender. The 15 year old Croatian has been made her mark on the ITF Pro Circuit winning two futures events so far this year and will be looking to improve on her defeat in the round of 16 at Wimbledon last year.
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard comes into the event brimming with confidence after a string of impressive performances so far in 2012. Bouchard reached the semi finals of the Australian Open, the round of 16 at the French Open and won the warm up event in Roehampton last week.